1“Comfort and keep comforting my people,” says your God.
2“Tell Yerushalayim to take heart; proclaim to her
that she has completed her time of service,
that her guilt has been paid off,
that she has received at the hand of Adonai
double for all her sins.”
3A voice cries out:
“Clear a road through the desert for Adonai!
Level a highway in the ‘Aravah for our God!
4Let every valley be filled in,
every mountain and hill lowered,
the bumpy places made level
and the crags become a plain.
5Then the glory of Adonai will be revealed;
all humankind together will see it,
for the mouth of Adonai has spoken.”
6A voice says, “Proclaim!”
And I answer, “What should I proclaim?”
“All humanity is merely grass,
all its kindness like wildflowers:
7the grass dries up, the flower fades,
when a wind from Adonai blows on it.
Surely the people are grass!
8The grass dries up, the flower fades;
but the word of our God will stand forever.”
9You who bring good news to Tziyon,
get yourself up on a high mountain;
you who bring good news to Yerushalayim,
cry out at the top of your voice!
Don’t be afraid to shout out loud!
Say to the cities of Y’hudah,
“Here is your God!
10Here comes Adonai Elohim with power,
and his arm will rule for him.
Look! His reward is with him,
and his recompense is before him.
11He is like a shepherd feeding his flock,
gathering his lambs with his arm,
carrying them against his chest,
gently leading the mother sheep.”
12Who has counted the handfuls of water in the sea,
measured off the sky with a ruler,
gauged how much dust there is on the earth,
weighed the mountains on scales, or the hills in a balance?
13Who has measured the Spirit of Adonai?
Who has been his counselor, instructing him?
14Whom did he consult, to gain understanding?
Who taught him how to judge,
taught him what he needed to know,
showed him how to discern?
15The nations are like a drop in a bucket,
they count like a grain of dust on the scales.
The islands weigh as little as specks of dust.
16The L’vanon would not suffice for fuel
or its animals be enough for burnt offerings.
17Before him all the nations are like nothing.
He regards them as less than nothing.
18With whom, then, will you compare God?
By what standard will you evaluate him?
19An image made by a craftsman,
which a goldsmith overlays with gold,
for which he then casts silver chains?
20A man too poor to afford an offering
chooses a piece of wood that won’t rot,
then seeks out a skilled artisan
to prepare an image that won’t fall over.
21Don’t you know? Don’t you hear?
Haven’t you been told from the start?
Don’t you understand how the earth is set up?
22He who sits above the circle of the earth —
for whom its inhabitants appear like grasshoppers —
stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
spreads them out like a tent to live in.
23He reduces princes to nothing,
the rulers of the earth to emptiness.
24Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown,
scarcely their stem taken root in the ground,
when he blows on them, they dry up,
and the whirlwind carries them off like straw.
25“With whom, then, will you compare me?
With whom am I equal?” asks the Holy One.
26Turn your eyes to the heavens!
See who created these?
He brings out the army of them in sequence,
summoning each by name.
Through his great might and his massive strength,
not one of them is missing.
27Why do you complain, Ya‘akov;
why do you say, Isra’el,
“My way is hidden from Adonai,
my rights are ignored by my God”?
28Haven’t you known, haven’t you heard
that the everlasting God, Adonai,
the Creator of the ends of the earth,
does not grow tired or weary?
His understanding cannot be fathomed.
29He invigorates the exhausted,
he gives strength to the powerless.
30Young men may grow tired and weary,
even the fittest may stumble and fall;
31but those who hope in Adonai will renew their strength,
they will soar aloft as with eagles’ wings;
when they are running they won’t grow weary,
when they are walking they won’t get tired.